Original U.S. WWII Named 10th Air Force 436th Bombardment Squadron A-2 Flight Jacket - B-24 Liberator Pilot Theodore A. McConnell - 46 Missions

Item Description

Original Item: One-of-a-kind. This is an exceptional A2 leather flight jacket issued to 1st Lt. Theodore "Ted" A. McConnell, a B-24 pilot who flew in the Pacific Theater CBI (China, Burma India campaign) during WW2 as a member of the 10th Air Force, 436th Bombardment Squadron. 1st Lt. Theodore "Ted" A. McConnell, originally of Media, PA, and chronicles his career as a B-24 Liberator pilot flying "The Hump" between India and China during WW2 while serving in the 10th Air Force, 7th Bombardment Group, 436th Bombardment Squadron. McConnell accrued a total of 406 hours, 40 minutes of combat time over the course of 46 missions flown.

This leather A-2 flight jacket is in near excellent condition in a size 42.

The best aspects of this incredible jacket are as follows:

- Leather CBI Blood Chit on the back which measures approximately 7 ¾ inches wide by 11 inches high. The Blood Chit is multi-piece construction and shows an American Flag, Chinese Flag, the CBI insignia and writing in Chinese characters. This blood chit served as a notice to any civilians who may come across an armed-services member – such as a shot-down pilot – in difficulties. As well as identifying the force to which the bearer belongs as friendly, the notice displays a message requesting that the service member be rendered every assistance.

- Leather American Flag on the back which measures approximately 11 ¾” x 8 ½”. The patch is multi-piece construction.

- The 436th Bomb Squadron patch is an all leather multi-piece patch that features a silhouette of a bucking bronco with a rider.

- 46 painted bombs on the front indicating how many missions he flew.

- The two shoulder straps feature separate smaller leather tabs sewn on with 1st Lt bars painted in silver with little paint retained.

- The two shoulder patches are for the 10th Air Force and the CBI theater, both of all leather multi-piece construction. The 10th AF patch is retained very nicely with some fading present, the CBI insignia is in similar condition.

Talon zipper is original and fully functional. Knit cuffs and waist band appear to be original to the jacket, or quite possible correct post war replacements as they are in very good condition. Size is US 42 and manufactured by the STAR SPORTSWEAR MFG CO with complete data label intact. Overall condition of the jacket is very with supple leather and a very nice internal liner which shows areas of wear and some image but overall very solid.

This is truly a wonderful example that has stood the test of time with all original components! Comes ready for research and display!

Approximate Measurements:
Collar to shoulder: 10"
Shoulder to sleeve: 25.5”
Shoulder to shoulder: 17”
Chest width: 19.5"
Waist width: 20"
Hip width: 18.5”
Front length: 28"

After the Pearl Harbor Attack, the surviving aircraft operated from Hawaii until February 1942, becoming part of the air defense forces of the Territory. Moved to Australia with the 7th Bomb Group where the squadron reformed in northern Queensland in late February. Became part of the new Fifth Air Force. Moved to Java in the Dutch East Indies an attempt to stop the Japanese advance, however the small force of B-17s could do very little to stem the tide of the Japanese advance, launching valiant but futile attacks against the masses of Japanese shipping and returned to RAAF Townsville in early March.

Redesignated as the 436th Bombardment Squadron in April 1942 and left its B-17Es in Australia, being reassigned to the new Tenth Air Force in India where it was re-equipped with long-range Consolidated B-24D Liberators. For the balance of the war, carried out long distance heavy bomb raids over Japanese targets primarily in Burma, Thailand and Indochina; a theater with little news coverage, see China Burma India Theater; although also attacked Japanese targets in Southeastern China attacking airfields, fuel and supply dumps, locomotive works, railways, bridges, docks, warehouses, shipping, and troop concentrations in Burma and struck oil refineries in Thailand, power plants in China and enemy shipping in the Andaman Sea. (A more complete account is available in Lt Col (Ret) William Henderson's book, "From China Burma India to the River Kwai") Ceased bombing operations in late May 1945 and was attached to the Air Transport Command to haul gasoline from India over the Himalayas to China. Squadron demobilized in India, leaving B-24s to Indian Colonial forces, inactivated as a paper unit in the United States in early 1946.

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